After a full day of oral presentations, ten judges from across the United States selected collegiate business plan teams from John Brown University (JBU) of Siloam Springs, Arkansas, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), as the 2012 winners of the Donald W. Reynolds Tri-State Awards at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Both of the winning undergraduate teams were from JBU, while both winning graduate-level teams were from UNLV. First place winners took home a $30,000 cash prize, a team trophy and individually-personalized plaques. The second place winners received $20,000 prize, a trophy and individually-personalized plaques. The teams’ faculty advisors earned a $3,500 check as well. “The quality of the winning business plans is phenomenal, as are the students who produced them,” Arkansas Capital Corporation Chief Executive Officer C. Sam Walls said. “These students are not only business savvy, they are creative and well-equipped to successfully become the business leaders of tomorrow.” The winning undergraduate teams are: First Place – Hydrovate – John Brown University – Hydrovate equips animal caretakers with efficient products that maximize animal health through the development of innovative hydration solutions. Team Members: Amanda Abramovitz, Tina Funk, Josh Garrett, Rolando Ochoa Faculty Advisor: Eva Fast Second Place – Simpler Solutions –John Brown University – Simpler Solutions strives to be recognized by paint manufacturers as the leading company for paint sampling innovation, bridging the gap between consumer demands and market offerings. Team Members: Jamison Hofer, Brandon Knight, Shantelle Overby Faculty Advisor: Eva Fast The winning graduate-level teams are: First Place – Geyser Flow Control – University of Nevada, Las Vegas – Geyser Flow Control is a water flow restrictor for irrigation system that has commercial, residential and agriculture applications and will save users thousands of dollars due to its efficiency in water flow regulation Team Members: Joshua Ellison, Michael Giannini, Erin Johnson, Paul Kotchka-Smith, Seth Ostrowski Faculty Advisor: Dr. Andrew Hardin Second Place – MASH Tool USA – University of Nevada, Las Vegas – MASH Tool is a demolition tool that breaks apart concrete and has various other uses due to its unique construction. Team Members: Angela Douglas, Elizabeth Lewis, Peter Nazarechuk, Brandon Peters, Sarah Zalas Faculty Advisor: Dr. Andrew Hardin In addition to the business plan competition, students had an opportunity to win an additional $2,000 during the Elevator Pitch Competition. One member from each team was given 90 seconds to describe their product/service. The undergraduate winner of the Elevator Pitch Competition was Tina Funk of Hydrovate from JBU. The graduate winner of the Elevator Pitch Competition was Steve Fortner of SpatiaLinkSolutions, LLC from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. The 2012 Donald W. Reynolds Tri-State Award is an invitation-only event. Invitations were extended to the first and second place winners of the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup in Arkansas, Nevada and Oklahoma, the states in which Mr. Reynolds built his media empire. Now in its fifth year as a multi-state competition, the Tri-State Award business plan competition represents the pinnacle of three statewide business plan competitions in which the top two undergraduate and graduate teams from each state compete for cash awards totaling $118,000. The Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup is a statewide undergraduate and graduate business plan competition designed to encourage participating students to do more than just think about their ideas. Instead, they are challenged to take action with their ideas and talents in order to produce tomorrow’s businesses. The competition is intended to simulate the real-world process of entrepreneurs creating a business plan to soliciting start-up funds from potential investors. Participating students gain access to networks of successful entrepreneurs, lenders and investors, team building opportunities, business planning skills, and media exposure.